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The Bat: The First Inspector Harry Hole Novel | [Jo Nesbø]

The Bat: The First Inspector Harry Hole Novel

Before Harry took on the neo-Nazi gangs of Oslo, before he met Rakel, before The Snowman tried to take everything he held dear, he went to Australia. Harry Hole is sent to Sydney to investigate the murder of Inger Holter, a young Norwegian girl who was working in a bar. Initially sidelined as an outsider, Harry becomes central to the Australian police investigation when they start to notice a number of unsolved rape and murder cases around the country. The victims were usually young blondes. Inger had a number of admirers, each with his own share of secrets, but there is no obvious suspect.
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Publisher's Summary

Available in English at last! The first book in the remarkable, best-selling Harry Hole series from Jo Nesbø.

Before Harry took on the neo-Nazi gangs of Oslo, before he met Rakel, before The Snowman tried to take everything he held dear, he went to Australia. Harry Hole is sent to Sydney to investigate the murder of Inger Holter, a young Norwegian girl who was working in a bar. Initially sidelined as an outsider, Harry becomes central to the Australian police investigation when they start to notice a number of unsolved rape and murder cases around the country. The victims were usually young blondes. Inger had a number of admirers, each with his own share of secrets, but there is no obvious suspect and the pattern of the other crimes seems impossible to crack. Then a circus performer is brutally murdered, followed by yet another young woman. Harry is in a race against time to stop a highly intelligent killer who is bent on total destruction.

©2013 Jo Nesbø (P)2013 Random House Audio

What the Critics Say

Advance praise from the U.K. for The Bat

“Even with this first book Nesbø’s command of the idiom is completely in place—there is absolutely no sense that the writer was finding his feet and aficionados will be very pleased to slide this on to their bookshelves alongside the other Harry Hole novels.” --The Daily Express
 
“It is fantastic to see a younger Harry, a more loquacious Harry. . . . [Nesbø is] a terrific writer who knows how to build a story, taking you slowly to the top of a rollercoaster before sending you hurtling towards a solution that you never see coming.” --Scottish Express
 
“Nesbø is already taking on the clichés, ruthlessly tearing them apart and coming up with new riffs. . . . Most satisfyingly, we can now see the organic shape that Nesbø always intended his work to take.” --The Independent (London)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.8 (415 )
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4.2 (380 )
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    tinyNorman Wisconsin 02-15-14
    tinyNorman Wisconsin 02-15-14 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Interesting story, narrator is distracting."

    I purchased this book because it was first in the series. Am listening to the end to get the background, but the narration is distracting because of the reader's odd intonations. Sometimes it's quite good, and sometimes it is very sing-song. I did enjoy the mystery story, but, because of the narrative stylings, had to struggle / focus to not lose the threads.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    HIYBRID 01-25-14
    HIYBRID 01-25-14
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    "Good on 'ya Mr. Nesbo"
    If you could sum up The Bat in three words, what would they be?

    Gripping Crime Drama


    Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

    The crimes were never really solved till everything comes together. Then it all made perfect sense


    What does John Lee bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Mr. Lee is my favorite narrator. He reads with restrained passion. He also speaks Austrailian superbly


    Any additional comments?

    I'd just finished "In a Sunburnt Country" by Bill Bryson. His travels thru the land down under. The Bat takes place in Austrailia so I got to stay in character for this book or in country you might say

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Derek Portsmouth, VA, United States 09-16-13
    Derek Portsmouth, VA, United States 09-16-13 Member Since 2013

    Say something about yourself!

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    "A great (if somewhat confusing) listen."
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Jo Nesbo's first Harry Hole novel is great example of modern detective fiction. While it doesn't really break the mold of alcoholic damaged detective goes through the seedy underbelly of (insert city here), it still grips the listener and makes you actually feel for the characters. I won't say that you'll fall in love with them, but Harry's interactions with them seems organic and keeps the suspension of disbelief alive throughout the book. Some of the plot points seem to have poor explanation, like one didn't get the whole story behind them before Nesbo put them to page, but that might just be me. Overall, a good start to a series and I look forward to more adventures and mysteries with this series.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Bat?

    (SPOILER WARNING) The description of Baurguetta's (sp?) murder inspired true dread, and the thoughts in Harry's mind as they drag the waters was beautifully done. A true verbal still life picture into a scene a dread, misery, and loss of something that felt like it was never truly there.


    What about John Lee’s performance did you like?

    John Lee did an exceptional job. His Australian accent seemed quite authentic to me. I will say however that two characters did sound almost exactly alike, but this issue rarely rears his head in the reading.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    No, unfortunately. However, that just may be my personality. Always moving, always listening.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Patricia Auburn, CA, United States 09-06-13
    Patricia Auburn, CA, United States 09-06-13

    pjlyon

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    "Not So Good"

    I'm glad that "The Bat" was not the first of this series I've read, or it would have been the last. In general I have enjoyed the Harry Hole series by Jo Nesbo, but this one, for me, was laborious to listen to. The characters lacked the form and depth the other novels have, and again, another deep love affair begins and ends in a week.

    The narrator was Ok, but nothing special. Some voices were well done and others not as well done. Over all it was a good try but no banana.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    lahna 09-05-13
    lahna 09-05-13 Member Since 2011

    guatelahna

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    "Not Nesbo's best"
    What would have made The Bat better?

    An abridged version of this would have worked better for me. Rambled on too much.


    Has The Bat turned you off from other books in this genre?

    No, I have enjoyed his other books so far, this just did not hold the same interest for me.


    What do you think the narrator could have done better?

    The problem is I prefer someone like Robin Sachs and this guy is no where near that.


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from The Bat?

    Quite a bit of the sex, drinking. Also for me there were too many side stories that were, I guess, fables of Australia.


    Any additional comments?

    I struggled to finish this. I couldn't wait for it to be over. That is not usually the case with his books.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Suzanna Austin, TX, United States 08-23-13
    Suzanna Austin, TX, United States 08-23-13 Member Since 2013

    I'm new to Audio-books and already hooked.

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    "Enjoyable"

    But how could you not like a book featuring Harry Hole? Narrator was good, but creeped me out in his Swedish woman voice.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    James H. Breda Melrose, MA United States 07-30-13
    James H. Breda Melrose, MA United States 07-30-13 Member Since 2009
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    "A Thrilling Ride-- Right up to the very last word."
    What made the experience of listening to The Bat the most enjoyable?

    After listening to several books in the Harry Hole series, out of sequence (this book was only recently made avaialble), it was enjoyable to learn some of the back stories alluded to in later books. Anyone just "discovering" Jo Nesbo and Harry Hole will do themselves a great service by starting with book 1.

    I've never been to Australia; but have several good friends who leve there; and John Lee "nailed" the accents as far as I can tell. Most enjoyable was the final chapter. Some may say "predictable"; but it's a helluva finish.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    We get to meet Harry almost on holiday at first; but he soon demonstrates why he was sent to OZ to solve the case.. We also get to see a rather unflattering, yet understandable side of Harry that needed to be told.


    What does John Lee bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    To dedicate the narration to Robin Sachs was a thoughtful gesture. He adds (IMHO) authentic Aussie accents and allows you to get into the story very fast.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    troy HALLOWELL, ME, United States 07-29-13
    troy HALLOWELL, ME, United States 07-29-13 Member Since 2006
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    "A Great Listen - Echoes of Stieg Larssen"
    Any additional comments?

    John Lee is a personal favorite and his narration led me to Harry Hole. The Scandanavian main character will naturally put one in mind of Stieg Larssen and I thoroughly enjoyed this book as I did those. I found The Bat less dark though and refreshingly non-formulaic as many police procedurals can be. Harry is another flawed detective that is very easy to like. The characters and plot are well-developed. I am writing this when I am nearly done book 2, Redbreast, and I very pleased to have found the series. Great job Mr. Nesbo!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Paul J. Wheeler Charlotte, NC USA 07-27-13
    Paul J. Wheeler Charlotte, NC USA 07-27-13 Listener Since 2009

    I love reading and I love Audible. Their fantasy and Sci-Fi selection is excellent!

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    "Pretty good but I liked Robin Sachs better"

    Overall I thought the story was pretty good, though not my favorite in the Harry Hole series. John Lee does a good job reading but something about the way he goes low at the end of sentences annoyed me. It is not as bad sped up a bit, but it really made me miss Robin Sachs who was just perfect.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    gail San Rafael, CA, United States 05-08-14
    gail San Rafael, CA, United States 05-08-14 Member Since 2011
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    "what a disappointment"

    author came highly recommended but book felt as if sprung from an outline--overly plotted with characters who fail to come alive...reader's Australian accent grating and not suited to the detective from Norway--I really thought the Aborigine fairytales a form of padding rather than anything integral to the story.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
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